07 May 2013

The Return Of Saturn

I'm not one to hold much stake in astrology, nor do I think of life as a cosmic circumstance on a daily basis. There is, however, a "phenomenon" known as the return of Saturn that, coincidentally, has altered my life without my even knowing it.

The theory behind this idea is that, upon reaching the age of twenty-seven, Saturn is aligned in the sky in the exact same position as it was when you were born, for the first time SINCE you were born. This, in essence, is your total being coming full-circle, allowing change and growth. A do-over from the universe. A few months before I was even conscious of this theory, and only a month or so before my twenty-seventh birthday, I began noticing several changes within myself.

I began shedding old skin, molting away past memories and ideals. I became more hard-lined toward old interests, casting aside superfluous baggage and all the while aligning myself with new ideas, concepts and lifestyle choices.

Music has always been an incredibly big part in my life. It was when I began relinquishing certain bands and musicians into the folds of time past that I was able to make room for bands that were older than I was, yet still new to me. Upon this realization, this liberation of myself from weighted songs and albums, I began feeling more like myself than I ever have before. It was almost a high that I seemed to chase. I sold most of the records that reminded me of a past I'd like to forget. They no longer held the magic of friendship and camaraderie. They just reminded me of desperately scraping by, an anxious madness fueled by expectations that were never met.

With this new found freedom from the drudgery of the past, I began assimilating myself into a new music subcultures. I began hearing things differently. It was as if I had a new set of ears, observing ancient sounds for the first time. The walls of sound created by guitars full of feedback and distortion became the aural equivalent of safety for me. These were bands and songs that should have been part of my canon all along, but for some reason were simply stones left unturned until recently. These new discoveries have been incredibly rewarding.

My musical preferences haven't been the only thing to undergo a drastic change over the last few months. The need for a healthier lifestyle has also fueled my day-to-day in the most positive of ways. Without even being conscious of it, my body began craving different things on a daily basis. Where once I'd eat a couple of bagels for lunch, I began making spinach wraps and eating fresh fruit. Just as filling and just as inexpensive, I began feeling healthier, leaner. After testing this theory for a week or so, I already noticed a change in my body. I began slimming down without even trying.

Looking into the past, the portions of food that I would prepare for Robin and myself were sickening. We didn't eat said portions out of necessity, it was simply something we had no grasp on. Consciously changing how much we were eating and how often has made a huge difference. We eat better than we ever did in the past and are just as satisfied with meals. I crave fresh produce on a daily basis and hardly ever touch cheese-loaded pasta. Rather than eating junk food candy, I am far more satisfied with fresh fruit or juices. I limit my intake of carbohydrates, dairy and meat and feel a lot better for the wear.

I've also stopped drinking as much beer as I have in the past. Rather, I opt for whiskey or vodka as a nightcap. A few beers a night doesn't seem like much, but when it's every night for months on end, you began noticing a lethargy that wasn't there before. Your gut grows, yet you feel bloated and empty. It's a contradiction in and of itself. If I choose to drink several beers in a particular night, I'll have a lighter dinner. Rather than having the distended, rotten feeling in my stomach that was so often a part of Midwestern life in the past, I feel more clear-headed, less off-balance.

With these alterations of diet and music, another change of ideals has grown ever present in my life. Upon realizing my tax exemptions on my forms at work were not what they were supposed to be and, getting screwed out of a tax return, I've taken a pay cut that I'm still adjusting to. Money has become tighter and going out into the city is a luxury anymore.

Rather than spending a night on the town with friends, Robin and I opt for cheap, healthy meals at home with store-bought booze. We've become a lot more social while becoming increasingly hermetic. It is a balance that we have struck that is far more rewarding than habits of the past. Instead of large meals at our favorite restaurants, we save our money for seeing bands. Our nights on the town more often than not are focused around live music with friends, seeing the music that influences all of our lives in the most positive of ways. In the depths of self-deprecation, when I've felt that I haven't been passionate about things in a long while, I am reminded from random conversations with coworkers that I am indeed incredibly passionate about live music. Living in Portland, I've become spoiled. Going to shows is no longer a luxury, but a way of life. I am thankful for that. I love that my hard-earned money can be spent supporting the bands that genuinely care about.

Our weekends fill up before they even arrive, and I steel myself for a sleep-deprived two or three days. Come Sunday night, I'm bedraggled. Worn out from working twenty-four hours and only sleeping for six, Sunday nights are an earned reward. This is the one night of the week where Robin are guaranteed to delve into our incredibly nerdy lifestyle, which is yet another change I've noticed within myself. Sci-fi and fantasy television shows, fueled by iced tea, coffee and cigarettes have become a new dynamic for us. Couple those things with more than a healthy amount of video games, we are experts at shutting ourselves off from the world. We burn brightly in the afternoons of dusty sunlight and air-conditioning. Misanthropy fueling our marathon gaming sessions is a dynamic we not only thrive in, but shamelessly love.

It is with this new head on my shoulders that I can charge bravely into the future. While ambition to create has been at an all-time low, I am ready to get back into expressing myself through different mediums. I've been entertaining the ideas of writing projects, photography lessons from Robin as well as other outputs, such as helping with a couple friends' budding record label. Almost six months off the blogging grid has not only been incredibly frustrating but, oddly enough, rewarding. I've been able to realign ideals and focus on life rather than attempting to document every minute detail to the point of over saturation. I've leaned up my body and I'd like to believe I've done the same to my brain in the past months.

I raise my empty mug of coffee to you, readers. Thanks for reading. Without an audience, I would have given up blogging permanently I'm sure. Here's to the future.

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